UNGA72

Canada’s Trudeau Uses the UN to Apologize to His Country’s Indigenous People

One of the biggest criticisms lodged against Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, has been his lack of commentary on the country’s history with its indigenous people of its First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations. In what could be considered a daring move, Trudeau used his time at the General Assembly podium to address … Read more

UNGA72

Snubbing Trump, Europe Stands Firm on the Iran Deal

The fight over preserving the Iranian nuclear deal took a firmer direction at the United Nations on Sept. 20. After Donald Trump, the United States president, proclaimed to the General Assembly the day before that the deal was “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” heads started … Read more

 

Harassed at the Rio Olympics or Elsewhere in Brazil? Call 180

RIO DE JANEIRO — Throughout Brazil, it’s not uncommon to come across posters, billboards and advertisements on buses and in subways showing women and men holding cellphones and this message: “Violência contra as mulheres? Eu logo 180: Violence against women? I’ll call 180.” These notices have been up since the country hosted the 2014 World … Read more

This Palestinian Policewoman Has Zero Tolerance for Domestic Violence

RAMALLAH — As the head of the Palestinian Civil Police Family and Juvenile Protection Unit, Lieut. Col. Wafa Muammar is the highest-ranking female officer in the Palestinian police force and a role model for women trying to find their own space in what has been considered a man’s profession here. Among the first generation of … Read more

BOOKS

What We’re Reading This Summer

Enjoying your summer but still looking for something good to read? There are lots of reading choices, of course, starting with all those backed up New Yorker magazines, McKinsey reports and NPR’s Summer Romance List. Or you can get a peek at what some of PassBlue’s editors and correspondents — Barbara Crossette, Irwin Arieff, Laura Kirkpatrick, … Read more

US Names First Special Envoy for LGBT Rights

The Obama administration has made a further commitment to advancing universal human rights by appointing Randy Berry the first United States special envoy to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people worldwide. The appointment comes as “the lives of LGBT people and those who support them are under increasing strain and often … Read more

 

GOINGS-ON

The US Names a Negotiator for the Next Set of Development Goals

Tony Pipa has been named the principal United States negotiator for the United Nations post-2015 development agenda, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals, which are being written and finalized this year to replace the soon-expiring Millennium Development Goals. The appointment reflects US efforts to become more fully engaged in the process of UN member … Read more

Illegal Money Transfers From Developing Nations Nearing $1 Trillion

A nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C., estimates that in 2011 — the latest data available — $946.7 billion flowed out of developing countries in various illegal ways, including diversions by corrupt officials and businesses as well as through tax evasion, terrorist transfers and cash moved across borders in the suitcases of traffickers. Furthermore, … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A Haitian-Canadian to Lead Global French-Speaking Group

Michaëlle Jean, a former governor-general of Canada and chancellor of the University of Ottawa, has been named the first Canadian and the first woman to lead the Francophonie, an association of countries where French is a national language or is widely spoken. Canadian media reported that Jean was supported actively for the position by Prime … Read more

Woman to Head African Airlines Trade Group

Fatima Beyina-Moussa, who has been managing director of Equatorial Congo Airlines since its creation in 2011, has been named president of the African Airlines Association, a trade group based in Accra, Ghana. The Congo airline, based in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo, serves regional cities as well as Paris and Dubai. Beyina-Moussa, … Read more

 

Sage Advice on Job-Seeking at the UN

Two United Nations officials with long careers at the world body and based in New York recently offered tips on how to get a job at the UN. Speaking at a  careers forum held at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in October, … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Another Veteran UN Diplomat, Staffan de Mistura, Is Named Syrian Envoy

Staffan de Mistura is the new United Nations special envoy for Syria, replacing Lakhdar Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat who resigned in May after nearly two years of rising frustration trying to broker a peace deal between the Syrian government and the main opposition group in the country. Despite formal negotiations that were convened by the … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A Norwegian Is Appointed the First Woman to Lead a UN Peacekeeping Force

General Kristin Lund of Norway

A Norwegian, Maj. Gen. Kristin Lund, has been named the force commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus. General Lund is the first woman to serve in the force commander position in a UN peacekeeping operation. She replaces Maj. Gen. Chao Liu of China in August 2014. The operation in Cyprus is considered … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Lakhdar Brahimi, UN Special Envoy for Syria, Quits in Despair

Lakhdar Brahimi

Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League special envoy on the Syrian crisis, has resigned as of May 31, ending many months of speculation on his leaving, particularly after the peace talks held this winter in Geneva between the Syrian government and the opposition failed. At that point, Brahimi blamed the collapse on the Syrian regime. … Read more

 

To Educate Girls in Burkina Faso, a Fund-Raiser Is Held in New York

Leocadie

Fred Eckhard was beloved in the United Nations as the spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a position Eckhard left in 2005. An American, he absconded for the Brittany coast in France, where enjoys fruits de mer and his seaside home with his wife, Kathryn, a Scot, who is also a UN veteran. Though Eckhard has … Read more

Samantha Power Urges US Congress to Approve UN Funding for 2015

Samantha Power

Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, testified on April 2 before the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Appropriations for State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs — on the financing of the UN. (The US remains the single-largest financial contributor to the UN.) Power, who became ambassador in 2013, spoke about … Read more

Bloomberg, Ex-Mayor of New York, Becomes UN Climate Envoy

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Michael Bloomberg, who just ended his three-term, 12-year mayoralty of New York City in December, as his special envoy for cities and climate change. Bloomberg, who will be unpaid, will assist Ban in consultations with mayors and related parties to raise the “political will and mobilize action” among … Read more

The US Backs the UN on Women’s Rights and Family Planning

Ethiopian sheep farmers

  Speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the third international conference on family planning, Anne C. Richard, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, urged strong support for United Nations efforts to promote  the rights of women and girls, including universal access to family planning, as the organization frames new development … Read more

 

New Human Rights Council Members Include China and Saudi Arabia

Human Rights Council vote 2013

The United Nations General Assembly has elected 14 new members to three-year terms on the 45-member Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva. The new countries to serve on the council, starting on Jan. 1, 2014, are Algeria, Britain, China, Cuba, France, Macedonia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Vietnam. … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A Dutchwoman Leads Mission to Destroy Syria’s Chemical Weapons

Sigrid Kaag with Ban Ki-moon at the UN press briefing

Sigrid Kaag, a Dutch national, has been named special coordinator for the joint mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations, which began its work Oct. 16 to manage the destruction of Syria’s chemical stockpiles and production operations, operating under a mandate from a Security Council resolution passed … Read more

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